Africa has not been a top strategic priority for the United States. While successive U.S. administrations have sought to advance health, trade, and energy initiatives, high-level U.S. attention toward the continent has often been limited to concerns about security, extremism, and migration flows. Under the Trump administration, the United States became narrowly preoccupied with China’s influence over a number of African states, while the Biden administration has largely been focused on the civil war in Ethiopia. During a recent visit, however, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed hope the United States can build stronger relations, recognizing the continent’s vast economic potential and many promising trends.
On December 17, the Brookings Africa Security Initiative hosted an event to discuss how the Biden administration can set out a strategy to reframe American thinking about Africa from an overemphasis on U.S.-China competition, to broader engagement with Africans themselves on security issues.
DJ Switch’s remarks are her own personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for Democracy.
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PanelistMichael E. O’Hanlon Director of Research - Foreign Policy, Director - Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and StrategyGemima Neves Barlow Deputy Regional Director, Southern and East Africa - National Democratic Institute